Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 03, 2010

From: Rosenberg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree in Rosenberg, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree? I live on the Brazos River and have a lot of large Pecan trees but the largest is approx. 11 ft. around.

ANSWER:

The answer depends on how precise you want to be. The most accurate method would be to cut down the tree and count the growth rings. That sounds a little drastic, so I will give you a couple of alternatives

This link suggests that there is a good correlation between the circumference of the tree and its age (circumference in inches equals age in years), and its easy enough to measure the circumference of the tree. Or this link suggests a similar correlation between the diameter of the tree and its age. You'll have to use some math skills to determine the diameter  ( d = C/pi).

The third method invovles extracting a core sample from the trunk of the tree using an increment borer. This technique is commonly used by foresters as a management tool in forests. You of course would need to have an increment borer and some expertise in using it and in handling and analyzing the core once it is obtained.

I've included links to the University of Tennesee and Auburn University for extensive descriptions on the use of an increment borer.

If you choose to go the increment borer route, the folks at the Fort Bend county office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service or the Houston office of the Texas Forest Service may be able to help.

 

More Trees Questions

Browning leaves on recently planted chinkapin oak in Rockwall TX
June 09, 2010 - I just planted a chinkapin oak that is about 1 1\2 inches thick last week and now some of the leaves are turning brown. Does that mean its dying? Do you have any tips that I could use to protect it?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin
May 02, 2010 - I have an adult (over 25 years?, 20 feet tall?) Mountain Laurel next to my house in Austin. The winter of 2009/10 it lost most of its leaves. It did bloom and leaf out this Spring--not vigorous espec...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks dying in Austin, TX?
February 03, 2011 - I had my live oak trees trimmed in October(it had been over 5 years) by a reputable Austin company. The tree canopies were not very thick to begin with, but throughout the winter, some trees have los...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for city lot in Longview, TX
March 19, 2008 - Just bought a city lot in Longview, TX and want to put in some plants at the periphery even before the house is built. Can you recommend any that would be from your list of East TX plants that are pa...
view the full question and answer

Wild Texas olive trees in Chappell Hill TX
July 17, 2009 - Are wild texas olive trees male and female? Mine is evergreen with no olives. I would like to have another that is evergreen and has no fruit but all I find are deciduous and have fruit.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.